Rosemarie Emanuele

"Math Geek Mom"

Although she holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College, Rosemarie Emanuele is a professor and the chair of the Department of Mathematics at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. She loves to teach math but also pursues research related to the economics of nonprofit organizations and volunteer labor, and has published in both economics and interdisciplinary journals — as well as in the book that inspired this blog. She is the proud mother of a wonderful daughter.

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Most Recent Articles

July 9, 2009
While on vacation a few weeks ago, we had lunch at a unique restaurant just off the beach in Newport, Rhode Island. It is called “Flo’s Clam Shack”. Founded in the 1930s, the building looks as weathered and wind-beaten as the name implies. While there was no sand on the floor that day, there often is, as people saunter in off the beach to enjoy the seafood. Flo had been one of the first to try frying the tasty clams found off New England, and had thus brought a delicious treat to everyone who lived there.
June 25, 2009
The first few weeks of graduate school, several facts became apparent. I am sure that I should have realized these long before moving to a new city and beginning a Ph.D. program, but I have to admit that I did not. They have, however, strongly influenced the path my life has taken, and deserve some discussion.
June 18, 2009
You may have heard the comment that the “three best things about teaching are June, July and August”. Those of us who are actually teachers know this is not exactly true. For some of us, the summer just presents an opportunity to earn some additional income, or, as in my case, to also maintain my department’s presence on campus and in the community by offering summer courses. For most, it is truly only two months long, as our contracts extend from mid-August to mid-June, and we are back to work long before September actually arrives.
June 11, 2009
When I was in college, a fellow student once told several of us about a boy she used to know. Apparently this boy experienced some difficulties in learning to write, and was also quite smitten with her. He once wrote her a love note in very broken English, the best he could do. The boy realized that he was not writing correctly, and at the end of the note, closed it by saying “all these mistakes are just trying to say ‘I love you.’” I have thought of that often, as I go through life and make mistake after mistake, trying to get it right but not managing to quite do things correctly.
June 4, 2009
When I entered graduate school, I once proudly proclaimed to someone I had just met that “I don’t want to be normal”. I have no idea what they must have thought of that statement, or of me, but it was basically true. I saw myself as changing the world, as saving the world from its economic messes with my little equations. Who wanted to settle for “normal” when they could go down in the history books?
May 28, 2009
In the midst of parenting and teaching, we don’t often get to see the results of our labors. Last weekend, I got a glimpse of the results of my work, and found myself at one point in tears. I attended the wedding of a former student, and got to sit at a table with two other former students and their spouses. I must admit, they turned out quite well.
May 21, 2009
Recently, our college president spoke to the faculty. In her speech to us, she said that some economists think that the economy may NEVER recover from the current recession. Scary words, even when heard by an economist. I must admit, however, that I am not so pessimistic about our current recession. I look at our current recession, and although I am certainly not a macroeconomist, I recognize in it the “Paradox of Thrift”. This idea says that when people increase their saving, this, while good for individuals, it is bad for the economy.
May 14, 2009
Tonight is graduation at Ursuline College, and I will be proud to see several of our math majors march across the stage to receive diplomas. My favorite part of the evening is always the “honor guard” we form for the students as they leave the ceremony. All the faculty and staff line up on either side of the exit and applaud as the students process out, on to new and exciting things. The honor guard, of course, quickly disintegrates into a mob of students and teachers hugging and crying.
May 7, 2009
If, God forbid, your sister was violently murdered, to what ends would you go to make sure no one else ever suffered the same fate? That question is a question that has occupied the prayers and thoughts of one of the local Ursuline Sisters, as she discerned what her actions should be to protest the role of the U.S. in training the people many believe were responsible for the brutal deaths of her local fellow Ursuline Sister, Dorthy Kazel and three other American Churchwomen in El Salvador in 1980.
April 30, 2009
Last week, I looked out at my classes and found many more empty desks than I had expected to see. In this hectic time of the semester, many of my students are skipping class to finish work from other classes. As I looked out at my semi-filled classroom, I was reminded of the last time I skipped a class as an undergraduate, and of the economic concept of “opportunity cost.”

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